living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Cruise Ship or Rescue Vessel…

cruiseship     Given the choice, most of us would choose a cruise ship over a rescue vessel.

Each generation thinks their days are harder than they used to be in the past. Adam and Eve suffered the loss of their son Abel at the hands of their other son Cain. The loss was no less devastating than the mom in Chicago who loses her son to a drive-by shooting, or the mom who loses her daughter in a drunk driving accident.

Job was wealthy and had many children. He lost it all and then even lost his health. His reputation in the eyes of those who knew him was ruined. All thought for certain Job surely had brought all this on himself. The depths of questioning and worry and fear were not any less than they are for those who lose their job and home, lose their marriage and their children, or those who are accused wrongly and pay the penalty for something they didn’t do.

Noah worked hard for years on a project that made no sense to anyone at that time. He and the other seven on board with him left everything, listened as all they knew was destroyed by flood, and once on dry land almost a year later found nothing familiar and no one but themselves to start over. Their bewilderment was no less than what we face when no one believes in what we are doing, or when we must start from scratch after time and effort didn’t pay off as we planned.

storm

A cruise ship might sound good right about the time we have reached our end. But cruise ships aren’t on a mission. They aren’t searching for the distressed. That is the job of a rescue vessel. In our day to day we don’t need a good time, temporary distraction. We have to ride out the storm and that is best done with a ship and a captain who know they can get us home safely.

Jesus had one mission when He came and lived among us:  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10 NLT) How did He rescue us? He gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” (Galatians 1:4 NIV)

The Captain has rescued us, we just need to hold on, choose the rescue vessel and know it is done “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19 NIV)

lifepreserv


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D.O.U.B.T.

butterfly4555     A word we are familiar with: doubt… Plans piled high in our hearts – that never quite make it beyond the dreams? To do’s piled high on our desk – wondering which should be done first? Disappointments laying all around – not wanting to add to the pile?

When doubt clouds the view, push away the curtains with His Word… Are you familiar with Job? His story often brings dreary thoughts. Job said at one point when all seemed like loss “My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.” (Job 17:11 NIV) Doesn’t get much lower than that…

When friends and wife told Job ‘Give it up’, still Job would not doubt God. He would question, yes, but he would not doubt God was in control. The book of Job ends “After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10 NIV)

When in doubt don’t leave prayer out. God is not a magic genie and prayer is not a magic lamp, rather God is our hope and prayer is our blessing. I love these lyrics from a song by Francesca  Battistelli:

     When I fix my eyes on all that You are     Then every doubt I feel     Deep in my heart    Grows strangely dim     All my worries fade     And fall to the ground     Cause when I see Your face     And don’t look around     Any place I’m in     Grows strangely dim…

D.  desiring

O.  only

U.  ur

B.  blessing

T.  today

When in doubt, let’s fix our eyes above, on the author and perfector of our faith – lift up prayer and feel blessing rain down – blessing isn’t dreams come true, to do’s finished, disappointments fulfilled… Blessing comes when our desire is His best for our day (knowing that sometimes His best for us will be a storm, sometimes a rainbow)…

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October 3, 2014 Whose In Charge Here Anyways?

sky1    Once there was a calm sea to sail across, the other side held the next adventure. All on board were chatty, except the captain, he was tired from the day’s events and fell soundly asleep in the small compartment below the stern. Suddenly calm seas grew choppy, silence fell among the crew, winds began to howl, large raindrops began to pelt. The small boat started to rock and those less seaworthy began to get squeamish, and still their captain slept… Panic set in…

Much like our lives: we sail along with the good job, or the good kids, or the good health and suddenly our boats are rocked. We set our course feeling that surely our government has the terrorist thing handled, the Ebola thing handled, the economy thing handled.

My mother, at 70, was told she had a brain aneurysm sitting on the ocular nerve. She began losing site in that eye, reading became difficult (her favorite thing to do). When I visited shortly after she found out she held my hand and told me. Fear and panic gripped me. There was no surgery, not one that wasn’t as dangerous as the aneurysm anyway. My mother calmly patted my hand and assured me. Why wasn’t she in the grip of fear?

Max Lucado said “Fear, at its center, is a perceived loss of control.” When the boat heaves wildly over the waves we fight like crazy to control the outcome. Jesus beckons all the while, patting our hand and trying to calm us – we are not in control – the Lord of the universe is the mighty captain. “Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26 NIV)

In those moments of fear, harness your inner control freak, and call on the One whom even the waves obey…